Over the last four years, Coffey International Development has been on its own Journey to Reconciliation and the results have been a true reflection of our purpose to see thriving People, thriving Communities and a thriving Planet.
Our Journey to Reconciliation has tested our business and our people. This challenge has also given us the opportunity to embrace the learnings and spirit of growing our knowledge, living our values and contributing to our business and networks, resulting in our cultural capability building.
Australian-based, James Muir, is our Financial Manager at Coffey International Development, here he shares his story, work and application of his personal Journey with Reconciliation.
The British-born James moved to Australia four years ago and he recently reflected upon his lack of knowledge of the history of Australia or colonisation.
“When I arrived, I knew nothing about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, which may be a comparable experience to many of our advisors who are not Australian. It was interesting that it took 18 months for me to engage socially with an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” James said.
“When Tetra Tech engaged Clyde Rigney to support our RAP process, I was really grateful to undertake this process. Coming from a zero base, to being part of the working group and partaking in the cultural awareness training has helped my understanding of what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have been through – without Tetra Tech engaging in this process, I may never have known.
“Now, through my local cricket club I am working to get the Acknowledgement of Country to be given when we do our presentations every couple of weeks.
“About six months ago, I was talking to a member who played for the Australian Women’s Indigenous team, who has all her family come down for presentations – I thought how important it is to acknowledge where we are and everything that has happened.
“But sadly, a fellow member in the crowd shouted me down, and some people at the club were not as happy giving the Acknowledgement,” he said.
“This has not deterred me though. I give an Acknowledgement of Country on the nights I do the presentations because while I am not Australian, one day I hope to become Australian, and I think it is important to understand our history, what happened here, and what it means to be Australian.”
We share this insight into Coffey International Development’s Journey to Reconciliation to highlight the impact that it is having on our people, business, and the communities that we live and work in. Our Shared History is something that we should all recognise, for it is with this knowledge that we can understand and live our purpose.
We at Coffey International Development encourage you to seek out your own Journey to Reconciliation and observe how much you currently know about Australia’s Shared History, as we work together in shaping Australia for future generations to come.
For more information on our Journey to Reconciliation please contact Clyde Rigney Jr.